Person holding their phone while working on computer

SMS Marketing 101

Ding! 

At the push of a button, you’ve just alerted your entire customer list about your big sale. 

No worries about getting caught by an email filter. 

No algorithm to wade through. 

Sounds like some kind of marketing fantasy, right?

It’s all possible through SMS marketing!

Woman holding an iPhone, reading an SMS message from her favorite brand
Photo by Kamran Abdullayev on Unsplash

Why SMS Marketing?

Companies use SMS (Short Message Service) to send updates, deals, or important news right to your phone. It’s nearly identical to receiving a text message and will appear right alongside your regular texts with friends and family.

Just like SMS marketing itself, we’re going to give you short and simple reasons why you should be using SMS Marketing:

  1. Texts are quick to send and read.
  2. Most people read texts and they do it fast. This means your message gets seen.
  3. It’s like talking directly to customers. Personal and straight to the point.
  4. SMS doesn’t cost much, making it great for businesses big and small.
Woman looking at her smart phone, excitedly awaiting the next SMS message from an e-commerce company
Photo by Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash

Getting Started with SMS Marketing

Respect the Process

First, you gotta understand the legal stuff. You need permission to send marketing texts. Always respect people’s choice to say no to messages. Most SMS marketing providers, like Klaviyo, take care of all the legal stuff on your end so you don’t make any accidentally costly mistakes. As a Klaviyo Master Partner, our team at Meerkat Media is ready to answer any questions you might have.

Get People to Opt-in 

Next, you need to collect phone numbers. You can ask people to sign up through your website, at your store, or at in-person events. The best way for e-commerce businesses to gather contacts fast is to include an opt-in form at checkout, and within your newsletter sign-up form.

Craft an Enticing Message

Now it’s time to craft your message. Write short, clear, and to the point. Make them friendly and helpful. Include valuable tidbits like special deals, helpful reminders, or exciting news—but make sure that news is EXCITING. As psyched as you may be about new air filters in your office, you don’t want to overwhelm your customers with information that isn’t relevant to them.

Send at Optimal Times

Want to get optimal conversions? Send texts at good times. Think about when you like to receive texts. Most people are open to marketing texts from 11AM to 8PM (local time). Stay away from hours outside of those, and pay attention to time zone changes. 

Additional Tips for Success

Texts should be brief and to the point. You’ve only got 160 characters, so make them count!

Use personalization and names if you can. Most people realize their name is being auto-filled by the SMS service, but it’s nice to feel like a message was crafted specifically for you.

Give people a reason to be happy they got your text. Maybe it’s a special discount for their birthday or early VIP access to a big sale.

Always let people easily say no to more messages. It’s polite, but more importantly—it’s the law!

Man holding a smart phone, scrolling through great deals they learned about via SMS marketing messages
Photo by Alex Ware on Unsplash

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t send too many messages. It can be annoying and people might stop reading them. SMS messages have a much higher open rate than emails, so you don’t need to send more than 1-2 messages per week to really get your message out.

Don’t forget a call to action. Always include what you want the customer to do. Maybe it’s a link to your website or a reminder to come into the store. 

Remember to track results. See what types of messages work and what type of content doesn’t. Then, don’t be afraid to mix it up!

Examples of Good SMS Marketing

Sale Alert: “Hi Sarah! Our Black Friday Sale starts tomorrow! Get 40% off our holiday collection. Click here to see the deals: [Link]”

Event Reminder: “Hey Doug! Don’t forget your Salsa Dancing class starts at 6PM tonight. Can’t wait to see you there!”

Product Update: “Great news, Kaileigh! The Carry-On Suitcase you wanted is back in stock. Grab yours now: [Link]”

Note: You can include pictures, but they might appear differently depending on the type of phone. Also texts with pictures (MMS) cost more to send—but can be up to 1,600 characters in length!

Start Sending SMS ASAP

Looking for a shortcut to SMS marketing bliss? With years of experience in SEO and e-commerce marketing, Meerkat Media Group is here to help.

Contact Us

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